FINANCE

Retail Sales Up 7.1% in Latest Week

BY CSA STAFF

Chicago Retail sales for the week ending April 19 rose a strong 7.1% compared to the same period last year as consumers took advantage of warm weather nationwide, according to the ShopperTrak RCT Corp.’s National Retail Sales Estimate.

On a week-over-week comparison, sales also increased for the week ending April 19 as compared to the previous week ending April 12, rising a slight 1.4%.

“More seasonal spring weather contributed to the very welcome retail sales increase experienced last week,” said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak. “However, retailers will most likely remain cautious as it is questionable whether or not week-over-week sales increases will continue as we approach Mother’s Day weekend, which is the next large shopping event on the retail calendar.”

To date, ShopperTrak’s NRSE has posted a year-over-year increase in 13 out of a possible 16 weeks so far in 2008.

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Linens ‘N Things troubles lead to talks with vendors over supply

BY CSA STAFF

CLIFTON, N.J. Linens ‘N Things said on Friday that while it seeks to restructure its debts, it has formed an ad hoc committee of its major vendors in order to discuss how to ensure an uninterrupted supply of products.

The retailer is in talks with a committee of its debtholders about altering its capital structure and said that similar discussions were under way with the vendors, as well.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the company could file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and early last week, Linens ‘N Things reported that it had delayed a $16 million interest payment and that its lenders had agreed to delay exercising their right to stop making loans to the company.

The company claims that its problems have been caused primarily by the credit crunch, housing downturn and consumer spending slowdown in the United States.

Ceo Robert DiNicola said in a statement that the company was evaluating its options and exploring “several alternatives in our efforts to recapitalize the company.”

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Winn-Dixie promotes senior director to vp, Neighborhood Marketing

BY CSA STAFF

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Winn-Dixie has announced the promotion of Jim Carrado to vp, Neighborhood Marketing from senior director of Neighborhood Merchandising. He will be responsible for executing strategies centered on Hispanic, urban and affluent clusters and will work closely with all areas of the business, including merchandising, marketing and operations. Carrado will continue to report directly to Dan Portnoy, senior vp and chief merchandising and marketing officer.

In his previous position of senior director, Carrado orchestrated the fixture plan development and product merchandising plans for all remodeled stores. He also developed the company’s new product implementation strategy and created and implemented the clustering process and framework for neighborhood merchandising.

Prior to joining Winn-Dixie in 2003, Carrado worked for Spartan Stores. Before that, he worked at Ralph’s Supermarkets for 14 years and later served as vp of merchandising at Sutton Place Gourmet.

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